Q I lost a finger in a mechanical power press on a construction site. My boss says I can get worker’s compensation, but no more than that, since I put my hand in the machine when it was on. Is he right?
Probably not. Due to the severe nature of amputation injuries, workers will often lose their full range of motion and suffer a reduced earning capacity for the rest of their lives--costs that are usually not comparable with the payouts from worker’s compensation.
Even if an error on your part contributed to the loss of a finger in a mechanical power press, your employer may still be liable if there a safety oversight.
Mechanical power presses are the most common machines associated with workplace amputations. The injuries usually occur when a worker removes a re-formed workpiece from between the upper and lower dies, or feeds a new workpiece into the die, also called a point-of-operation hazard.
Here are a few ways your employer may be liable for your injury costs:
- Regular operation. Point-of-operation injuries may be accidental, but the action that caused the injury is necessary to perform work (feeding and removing pieces from the press).
- Inadequate safeguards. Many presses have safeguards that cut the machine’s power when a hand is inserted into the machine; however, these may be disabled to allow faster operation.
- Distractions. Employers are advised to place dangerous machines in low-traffic areas to allow the operator to concentrate without distractions.
If you are unable to work after a construction amputation in New Jersey, experienced Morristown construction accident lawyer Manfred F. Ricciardelli, Jr., can help you get fair compensation for your loss. Call us today at (877) 360-0183 or to start your FREE, one-on-one consultation. The call is FREE, and we charge you nothing unless we win your case.